TED Conversations

Tibor V. Varga

PhD student, Lund University

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What are the ethical consequences of revealing the human genome?

Is it worrying for you that from a single cell all your "raw code" can be revealed? Do you think this might be used for bad reasons? What are the ethical issues regarding this?

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  • Sep 28 2012: Well one of the worst ethical risks is what we can call genetic discrimination. Lets say, Patient X has a gene that makes him prone to develop a serious medical condition. And in his family there are people who have already developed that adverse health condition. What if Patient X is looking for a job, and he is asked for his genetic profile, and he is rejected because he has the gene that makes him prone to a disease that may interfere with his job? Patient X right now is in good health, but maybe because in the future he/she may become a load to the enterprise, the management simply refuses to call him in.
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    Sep 22 2012: It has same ethical issue as it had once Hippocrates wanted understand why people get sick how that can be cured....when sickness was considered to curse of god ...treating same was considered to be an act against GOD's will.

    Seems science always evolved faster than that of our ethical standards.

    A knife also have been used for bad reason as well since human could make the first knife.